The law firm Alston & Bird has been awarded the 2011 Religious Freedom Award by Southern California’s chapter of the ACLU:
“Alston & Bird was pleased to assist the ACLU in this important case to protect religious freedom in the California prison system. This settlement, approved by the court, will protect not just the right of one individual to practice his faith while in prison, but the rights of those to follow,” said Jonathan Gordon, Alston & Bird Los Angeles partner and lead counsel on the case for the firm. “By partnering on a pro bono basis with organizations like the ACLU, Alston & Bird can leverage resources to support worthy causes like this case.”
Alston & Bird’s Jonathan Gordon, Leib Lerner and Cassandra Hooks provided pro bono legal services in Sukhjinder Singh Basra’s suit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), who had disciplined Sukhjinder Singh for refusing to shave his beard, which put him in violation of prison requirements. CDCR eventually reached a settlement to revise their policy to ensure that Sukhjinder Singh’s rights (and those of all Sikhs) to practice his religion in prison would not be violated.